Christopher Michael, gay, gay poetry

from sorrow to serenity

Kaddish

yitgadal v’yit-kadash sh’mei rabba

I watch my mother shrivel, her once agile, mobile body diminish
her mind once sharp and clear fog with dementia
her bookkeeper’s mind that never forgot my debts
an adroit mind quickly faded, leaving her a shell
when I last saw her, a sad little person swallowed in a wheelchair
her tired faded body swallowed in a knit blanket I made her
a knit blanket I had her buried in

my mother asks me am I still 90?
yes mom
my mother asks me do I still have my money?
yes mom
my mother asks me did I take care of you and your sister?
yes mom
my mother asks me where’s my purse?

I only had one mother
brought me into this world Valentine’s Day 1945
left this world Valentine’s Day 2014
she was with my full lifetime
difficult at times
always a refuge, a safe harbor
constantly flooded with memories
always wishing I’d done more
been more
acted more
tried more
done less harm
caused less pain
things left unsaid
things left undone
without a do-over

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